If you’ve ever seen a Disney movie then you understand the craving for that perfectly tousled, man-catching, princess hair. But unlike cartoon royalty, it takes long hours of primping, products, tools and styling to get your hair looking that way. (You did not wake up like that, Sleeping Beauty.) But while we may not have a team of friendly forest critters to help us get ready in the morning, we do have a few tools in our arsenal that can give us amazing locks with minimal effort. Glampalm, the latest Korean beauty brand to emerge stateside, offers a collection of flat irons and styling tools that can take your strands from rags to riches. No fairy godmother needed.
Owned by Unil Electornics, the same guys who brought us ghd and CHI, Glampalm is the updated, luxury version of all those well-loved styling tools we’ve been using since college. They were the first company to use most of the features we now find commonplace like ceramic heating plates, automatic shut-off, cushion plates and embedded temperature control. In 2010 they received the prestigious iF Good Design Award, and today their products are used by women globally from South Africa to Japan to England. Basically these guys know what they’re doing when it comes to hair care.
Coming in three lines—the Classic Collection, the Volumizing Collection and the Special Collection—Glampalm has a tool for every hair type and style. Ranging from half-inch to inch and a half plates, every iron offers the ability to straighten, curl, flip or even deep condition your hair. The ones to catch our eye were the Simpletouch and Pro Styling Iron from the Special Collection. The Simpletouch, the world’s first motion-activated flat iron, turns on with a tap of the plates and heats up in less than 10 seconds. A few more taps will auto-adjust the tool to predetermined settings and a 35-second auto-shutdown timer makes sure you’ll never burn the house your hair. But the Pro Styling is the most advance in the lineup, and with my unruly mane, I knew I had to give it a go.
My first impression was these guys do not mess around when it comes to packaging. This didn’t just come in a dinky, heat-resistant sleeve—oh no. Encased in a magnetically-closed, Tiffany blue, satin-lined gift box sat a black-and-silver buckled clutch case lined with heat-resistant fabric. Inside I found black clips slid into their individual holders and the flat iron, tucked away neatly and gently in its nested hiding spot. Fancy. It was easy to use right out of the box and required little to no instruction.
I’ll admit, before I began, I was sure that this device would be exactly like every other flat iron I had ever tried. My hair, which I normally put up, hits the bottom of my back and is thick, frizzy and curly, but (unfortunately) not in a naturally glamorous way. While I feel that Princess Jasmine hair is entirely possible, my locks just refuse to fall into place, so I rarely straighten it. It’s too consuming and too much work. So my skepticism wasn’t entirely unfounded, but I decided to give Glampalm the benefit of the doubt.
The first time I used the Pro I pulled it right out of the box and plugged it in, curious to run it though my hair just a few times to get a feel for it before I attempted the daunting task of straightening my entire head. After what felt like a second, it was ready to go, so I gave it a few slow passes over the first piece of hair. It was straight. Stick straight. Of course I assumed this was some type of fluke as my hair only gets that polished after a heavy-duty mix of hair product and styling prep so I tried another piece, than another. Before I knew it half my hair was done and only 15 minutes had passed. I was sold.
Two of the major benefits to the Pro include LTT (Low Temperature Treatment) mode and vibration mode. With 8,000 vibrations per minute, this feature is intended to allow the iron to slip through your hair easily without snagging or fraying while the LTT mode is perfect for heat-based hair treatments—both things that my frizzy hair needs desperately. Glampalm provides you with a set of Tetone film strips to cover the plates before treatment (no one wants a gunky styling tool) so I grabbed a bottle of keratin treatment and away I went.
Personally, I am forever worried about damaging my hair—I know the wrong amount of heat in the wrong conditions (like styling when wet) is a recipe for disaster. But I wasn’t worried at all with the LTT setting. It stays at a warm 140 degrees and heats up the deep conditioning formula without risking damage to your strands. It was surprisingly easy to use and though I assumed it would be a slow process (are hair treatments ever quick?), I got though it in less time than expected.
I decided to put it to the ultimate test. I straightened my hair and went out for New Year’s Eve (because if anything can ruin a ‘do it’s a night of dancing, drinking and beachside frivolity). I didn’t worry about my hair at all. I sang, I boogied, I rang in the New Year, and when I woke up the next morning my hair was perfect. There may not have been any singing mice, and I definitely didn't feel like a princess, but I could finally and honestly tweet #Iwokeuplikethis.
Glampalm is available online and priced from $220-$270.